Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Guest Contributor: The Business of Baking

Business Cards:  Why and How You Need Them

by Michelle Green, The Business of Baking

In a world where technology seems to be created faster than we can master it, it would be reasonable to think that traditional business cards as a marketing tool are no longer relevant. In recent years business cards have had a bit of a revolution, you can now get all sorts of different sizes, shapes and textiles. I recently got one which was engraved on very thin balsa wood, and one embedded with seeds so that if you were to plant it and water it, in a few weeks you'd end up with some alfalfa. Business cards are as relevant a marketing tool as they ever were, and I find myself using them in all sorts of situations. I've given them out at networking events, attached them to quotes I gave to clients, given them out to people or companies I meet who want more information, or even attached them like a gift tag to some items I put in a goodie bag for a cake show. My first business cards were awful freebies from an online company, but as my business and level of professionalism evolved, so did my business cards. They are relatively inexpensive to produce, so having to update them once a year is really not a huge expense for what may be a great return.  Simply having a business card at all indicates a level of professionalism so they're well worth investing in.

At the very least, your card should be seen as an extension of your brand. If you sell a premium product, don't give out a thin, cheap feeling card with a stock photo on it. Similarly if you sell macarons, don't get a card with a photo of a cute kitten on it. Your business card should be a reflection of your brand and what you do.

At the very least your business card should include:
  • Your business name
  • Relevant branding (colours and fonts)
  • Your logo
  • Your name (especially important for small businesses. People prefer to call and ask for a specific person)
  • Contact details (phone and email at the very least)
  • Website address for your business
  • Something which indicates what you do. In my case, along the top edge of the card it says,
  • “Cakes*Cupcakes*Cookies*Classes” so there is no question about what things we offer. We do offer more services than that, but those are our main selling areas.
If you've got the room for it, you can think about adding in:
  • Your tag line if you've got one. By tag line I refer to the 'second line' of your business name.
  • Social media 'buttons' and how to find you: for example the little Twitter bird icon and then @yourtwittername I would not use the whole address for social media sites as their logos have strong enough recognition. I would only include the social media which you regularly update and interact with, even if you are on more than one platform. There is no point wasting space on a small card with social media accounts you rarely use.
You might be surprised that I'm not including social media as a “must have” and that's because in the first instance, we're wanting to use those cards to generate leads which may turn into orders. It's much easier to find a company on social media than it is to find their price list, so use your cards to drive people to the place which is most likely to turn into an order: your website. Once they've got your business name and web address, it's easy enough to find out where you are hanging out online if they are interested enough to do so, plus your website itself will tell them.

Getting your first set of cards feels incredible – it gives you a certain legitimacy and there is no denying your name is there on a tangible item. You need to also think of it as a living item though, so that means it will need updating, and it will need to be actually used! I always have a little stash of them in my wallet and I make sure my loved ones do, too. Many is a time I got an order from my husband's work mate or my in law's friends – all because they had a spare card or two in their handbag. Business cards are as exciting to get as they are to give – just be sure that they are  portraying your brand in the correct light (which means I wouldn't use the seeds card unless you own a plant nursery.)

Business card tip of the day: Any time anyone asks for me for a card, I give them two and say, “Here's one for you to hang onto, and one for you to share with a friend,” It's such a simple strategy but it's worked really well for me – people are surprisingly good at following directions like that.  As an added bonus, even if they don't remember to share it, they've got one to refer to when the first one gets lost.

Copyright 2014 Michelle Green The Business of Baking All rights reserved.

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Michelle is a food writer, trained chef and pastry chef with a huge amount of knowledge and helpful insight into running a cake business. She is also the sole author of the blog, "The Business of Baking" -www.thebizofbaking.com.  "The Business of Baking" is specific to the baking and decorating industry and teaches you how to make a real living doing what you love. Michelle started cake decorating at sixteen years old and eventually turned her hobby into a business by becoming a pastry chef, then opening a custom cake business and owning it for ten years. These days, Michelle is an educator, consultant and author who mentors other decorators in business, proving that it's possible to run a business and maintain your sanity at the same time. In 2014 and 2015 Michelle will be teaching live classes all about running a sustainable business. More information on her courses can be found at  www.bizbakeontour.com.



The Business of Baking!

Here at The Baking Sheet, I receive many emails with questions regarding pricing, cottage laws, contracts, cancellation policies, etc.

We understand the importance of the business side of the baking industry so I am thrilled to announce that the lovely Michelle Green from The Business of Baking has accepted my invitation to be a regular contributor to The Baking Sheet!!!!  


I would love for Michelle's articles to help answer some of your questions and start some interesting discussion on business topics! Whether you are thinking about starting a small cake business or already have an established bakery, there will be something for everyone!



Welcome Michelle!

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A little about Michelle:
Michelle is a food writer, trained chef and pastry chef with a huge amount of knowledge and helpful insight into running a cake business. She is also the sole author of the blog, "The Business of Baking" - www.thebizofbaking.com.  "The Business of Baking" is specific to the baking and decorating industry and teaches you how to make a real living doing what you love. Michelle started cake decorating at sixteen years old and eventually turned her hobby into a business by becoming a pastry chef, then opening a custom cake business and owning it for ten years. These days, Michelle is an educator, consultant and author who mentors other decorators in business, proving that it's possible to run a business and maintain your sanity at the same time. In 2014 and 2015 Michelle will be teaching live classes all about running a sustainable business. More information on her courses can be found at  www.bizbakeontour.com.




Sunday, June 29, 2014

Southern Magnolia Blossom Cake!

Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake with Caramel Buttercream Filling.
Fondant Finish and Gumpaste Magnolia Blossom!





 Happy Baking!!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Baby Booties Cake!

Welcome Baby Julianne!




Happy Baking!

Lavender Flower Cake Pops!

White Cake Cakepops!

Happy Baking!

Pink Cake Pops!

Chocolate cake pops!
'
Happy Baking!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ice Cream Cone Cake Pops!

This is only my SECOND attempt EVER at making cake pops (the first time was an epic fail). I think they actually turned out pretty cute...if I do say so myself... and I owe it all to an awesome tutorial that I recently discovered!
The tutorial contains a series of videos by Sweet Sticks that takes you through all the tips, tricks and techniques to make PERFECT and DELICIOUS cake pops. I learned, step-by-step how to bake the cake and make the icing, how to roll perfectly round cake balls that are all the same size, how to make the candy shell and how to dip my cake pops! It couldn't be easier! Even the recipes are included!
Gone are the days of crumbly cake pops that fall of the sticks! No more lumpy and bumpy icing! No more half-eaten cake pops that are too sweet to finish eating!
Sweet Sticks is generously offering $15 off for fans of The Baking Sheet! Just use coupon code “bakingsheet” upon checkout!
learnhowtomakecakepops.com


Happy Cakepopping!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Mega Charizard EX Pokemon Cake!


Chocolate and Yellow Marble Cake with Nutella Buttercream Filling
Fondant Head, Limbs, Tail and Wings!








Happy Baking!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day, A Collaboration Project and CAKE!


IT'S A SUPER CAKE MOMS COLLABORATION!

51 cake artists from around the world recently came together to honor a very special group of people…MOTHERS! 

Moms wear many hats: chef, hairstylist, chauffeur, wife, nutritionist, maid, wardrobe consultant, referee, gardener, nurse, entertainer, accountant, teacher…..all this and without receiving a paycheck! 

We wanted to celebrate our own Moms and Mothers across the world by creating beautiful floral cakes that are as diverse as each of our Moms. Each artist chose a flower and created a cake to showcase it. We hope you enjoy our collaboration because it was made with love. 

I chose to make violets! Happy Mother's Day!!!

(To see the 50 other collaborator's masterpieces, please check out my Facebook page!)



 Happy Baking!


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hoppy Easter!

Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake with Dark Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Filling!
Fondant Finish and Decoration!

Hoppy Easter!